The Edmonton Oilers proved a lot this season, and with their breakout comes a variety of performances from the players.
As the offseason kicks off, it’s time to review the seasons of each of Edmonton’s players. Here’s how Connor McDavid did in his sophomore year.
McDavid’s Immediate Impact
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Prior to the start of the season, McDavid was named the youngest captain in NHL history. At 19 years old, he not only wore the “C” on his jersey but also took on all the duties of a captain. He led his teammates and served as a role model on and off the ice. Not to mention, he had a positive impact on his team and made those around him better.
After the Oilers kicked off the season with a 7-3 record through their first 10 games, it was easy to see McDavid’s impact. He was not only helping to change the culture but put up points, created opportunities and helped his team put up a fight in every game.
Almost immediately, the former first-overall picked showed that he was among the NHL’s elite in such a short time. And by the same token, he would lead his team to new heights and make them one of the top teams in the league.
Stats at a Glance
McDavid actually got to play a full season, uninterrupted by injury. He was sidelined for 37 games during his rookie year with a broken clavicle. And now that he had a full season to work with, he exploded offensively.
Through 82 games, McDavid led the league and was the only player to hit 100 points. He finished with 30 goals and 70 assists to boot and clinched the Art Ross Trophy. He was also the league leader in assists and made up one-half of the NHL’s deadliest duo with Leon Draisaitl.
Not only did he put up outstanding numbers, he made his teammates better. Working with Draisaitl and Patrick Maroon, his linemates reached new heights, each of them posting 20-goal campaigns and having career years.
Nothing, of course, speaks louder than his actual on-ice ability. Seeing his stickhandling skills and movement of the puck, as well as his unparalleled speed, was mesmerizing. That in itself shows just how much McDavid helped his team.
Everything he did, including earning the captaincy and a spot in the NHL All-Star game, proved amazing. The 20-year-old centre also earned a few nominations at the NHL Awards, including the Hart Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award.
For years to come, McDavid will continue to make an everlasting impact. The way he plays, with outstanding speed that cannot be tested and stickhandling ability and skill that ges beyond his years, is revolutionary in the NHL. It’s been a while since the league saw exciting scoring totals from young players (not since the Crosby-Ovechkin golden years), and he is leading the new wave of hockey that will come in time.
The NHL is becoming a harder place for players to score, but it’s not slowing McDavid down. He is changing the scene of the NHL and bringing a different style to the table. Just as punk rock revolutionized the world of music, McDavid is energizing the game of ice hockey.
Final Grade: A+
McDavid had an unbelievable year and took his place atop the NHL in just his second season with the league. Not only did he make his team better, he also helped them crack the playoffs for the first time in a decade, where they went all the way to Game 7 of the second round.
In addition, his stats were amazing, and the plays he made left almost everyone, including his opponents, speechless. And the best part? He’ll only get better with time.